The flexibility of French higher education allows you to design an academic itinerary that is perfectly suited to your goals and background. Hundreds of possibilities exist in every field of knowledge, and in every part of France. The diversity of France’s geography and society will make your studying experience a particularly enriching one!

Are you interested in a general degree program? In acquiring a professional skill? Maybe you're ready to specialize at the graduate level? Somewhere in France there's a program (probably more than one!) that meets your personal goals.

Which city is right for me?

Your decision about where to study in France will depend on a number of factors – many of them personal. You may want to live near friends or family in France, or find the best way to stretch your financial resources. For certain fields or disciplines, a specific program may simply stand out. And, of course, quality of life is important both inside and outside the classroom, and no two people are alike in what they define as important!

You can find all the information you need about the main French university cities here.

 

Cost of living

The cost of living in France is comparable to that of other countries in Western Europe – but it varies significantly from city to city. It costs more to live in Paris than elsewhere, largely because of the cost of housing in the capital. A typical monthly student budget in Paris would be €1,200 – outside of Paris, it would be closer to €800-1,000, including tuition fees.

As is the case in comparably sized American cities such as New York or San Francisco, it is almost impossible to find truly inexpensive lodgings in Paris. For that reason, we advise budget-conscious international students to choose an institution located outside the capital city – as more than 80 percent of French students already do. The good news is that Paris really does not have a monopoly on high-quality education and exceptional quality of life in France!

 

Life outside of Paris

Throughout the country there are institutions with excellent reputations in all fields, and most schools of business and many top engineering schools are located outside Paris.

Outside Paris, you can still choose an urban environment – or live in a peaceful and charming town that is full of students. Choose a location near the sea, in the mountains, or in France's lush and beautiful countryside. You'll live comfortably, without the stress (or cost) of being in a major urban center – and you may make friends more easily as well.

And remember that the City of Light is just a pleasant train ride [link to Life -> Getting around] away from most other university locations: one hour from Lille or Orléans; two hours from Lyon, Nantes, Poitiers, Rennes or Dijon; and three hours from Marseille, Montpellier or La Rochelle.